April 17, 2014
Live Scoring | Match Program
The Minnesota women’s tennis team will conclude its regular season and its home schedule this weekend with matches against ranked foes Illinois and Northwestern at the Baseline Tennis Center. The No. 59 Gophers play the 43rd-ranked Illini Friday at 3 p.m. and take on No. 13 NU Sunday at noon. Sunday's match will be senior day and will mark the final match at home for Natallia Pintusava, Yuliana Umanets, and Pauline Gilbert.
With two games left in the season, the Minnesota women’s tennis team is 16-6 and has doubled its Big Ten win total from a season ago with six at 6-3. The Gophers have alternated wins and losses for the last three weekends after reeling off six wins in a row. At home, the Gophers are 9-3 on the season and 17-6 under second-year head coach Chuck Merzbacher.
The Gophers have six players with double-digit singles wins, led by Julia Courter’s 16 and Aria Lambert’s 15. After going 32-32 in doubles a season ago, Minnesota has posted a 40-19 record, led by a 17-3 mark by Courter and Natallia Pintusava.
Illinois enters Friday’s match in search of its first road win of the season, despite a No. 43 ranking and an 11-9 overall record. The Fighting Illini, who snapped a three-match losing streak on their Senior Day against Nebraska last weekend, stand at 4-5 in the Big Ten .
Allison Falkin has played the most matches at the No. 1 position, going 4-8 at the position and 7-9 overall. Alexis Casati leads the team with 14 singles wins and is 7-7 at No 1 doubles with Melissa Kopinski.
Northwestern, which plays Wisconsin Friday, comes into the weekend as the No. 13-ranked team in the country. The 15-time defending Big Ten champions have a 14-6 record and are 8-1 in conference play. The Wildcats have won three matches in a row and have not lost to a team ranked lower than 18th this year.
NU is led by No. 38-ranked Veronica Corning and No. 43 Belinda Niu. Corning is ranked 28th in doubles with Alicia Barnett and Maddie Lipp and Nida Hamilton are No. 86 in the nation.
Against the Opponents
Minnesota comes into Friday’s match with a 17-26 record against Illinois and has lost three matches in a row to the Illini, dating back to a 4-3 triumph on April 22, 2011 at the Baseline Tennis Center. Northwestern has won 36 of 41 meetings against the Gophers and has won 13 straight dating back to a 4-3 victory on April 6, 2003 in Minneapolis.
Match Format Experiment Over
The experimental scoring format using to begin the college tennis season has reverted back to the old system as of Feb. 10 for the women. From this point forward, there will be three doubles matches are played to eight-game pro-sets and the team winning at least two of the matches gets one team point. If the pro-set is tied 7-7, a seven-point tiebreaker is played.
Six singles matches are then played and each are worth one team point. The matches are best-of-three sets with tiebreakers played to seven points if the set is tied 6-6. Once a team has reached four team points, it has clinched the team victory. The remaining matches are completed with a 10-point match tiebreaker played in place of a third set.
Gophers Wrap Up Fall Season
Ryba, Safdar and Vujic wrapped up the Gophers fall season this weekend at the Thunderbird Invitational with Vujic picking up two singles wins.
Gophers Add Bihel, Kreinis
Minnesota has signed two student-athletes to National Letter of Intents for the 2016-17 season.
Minne-Tennis Tips: Finishing Your Shot
Check out the latest Minne-Tennis Tip With Chuck Merzbacher as he teaches you how to finish your shot.